By Marta Jewson
Sunday’s Barkus parade brings some New York glamour to the streets of the French Quarter. The theme, "A Broadway Tail," highlights famous musicals, and Queen Barkus will wear designer canine clothes from Bitch New York.
The procession of costumed dogs and their escorts will be accompanied by the Treme and Hot 8 brass bands, the Riverside Ramblers and the Roots of Music band.
Marching for the first time this year are members of Save-An-Angel, a non-profit dedicated to helping dogs diagnosed with cancer get life-saving treatments.
King Barkus XIX is Banjo, a blonde cocker spaniel, the pet of Tony and Katherine Gelderman. The Queen’s identity will be announced Friday evening at the Barkus Royal Ball (humans only) at the Windsor Court Hotel. The queen is always a rescued animal, but during the parade, she will wear the high fashions of Bitch New York ("Where the dog run meets the runway") as well as a custom-made collar designed by a local artist. She will ride on a golden fleur de lis float.
There will be many dog-related throws, including beads with dogs. Spectators are asked not to throw treats. “We don’t want any fights breaking out,” says Charlotte Lilly, vice president of Barkus.
“Over 600 members have registered thus far,” Lilly says. People interested in registering a dog to march may still do so. Registration is $40 (includes one human escort) until Friday. Registration on parade day is $50 and is available at the pre-parade Pawty beginning at 10:30 a.m. in Armstrong Park. The parade begins at 2 p.m.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is a nonprofit organization. Proceeds from registration fees, merchandise sales and the ball are donated to animal welfare groups. Past recipients have included LA/SPCA, Southern Animal Foundation and the Humane Society of Louisiana.